The Osoyoos Lake Water Science Forum took place on September 18 to 20 in Osoyoos.
One of the most important issues discussed concerned the International Joint Commission’s (IJC) expected renewal of operating orders on Osoyoos Lake, which expire in February of 2013.
Currently, an agreement between Canada and the U.S. regulates lake levels on Osoyoos Lake for drought and flooding, and to ensure enough water reaches Zosel dam in Washington State. The agreement is up for renewal and there has been discussion about expanding the order to include guaranteed flow rates. The Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) has suggested more study is needed before such approval is given, considering the potential for drought in the Okanagan.
Delegates at the convention included Washington State Senator Bob Morton, MP for Boundary – Similkameen Alex Atamanenko, and MLA John Slater.
Other issues discussed during the two day forum, which kicked off on Sunday, September 18 with a welcome reception, included milfoil control, protection of water for fish, the impacts of climate change and population growth on our shared water supply.